The Malawi Oilseed Sector Transformation (MOST) programme, a £6m, four-year market systems programme, aims to increase the incomes of 60,000 poor women and men working in Malawi’s cotton, groundnut, soybean and sunflower markets. MOST seeks to have a transformational impact by supporting changes in the market system that fundamentally alter the way business is done to ensure greater benefits for the poor. MOST works with a range of market actors – from small-scale rural entrepreneurs to multinational companies – to pilot and scale up new business models and to stimulate a more competitive market system.
MOST’s portfolio of interventions focuses on facilitating improved access to farm inputs, including better quality seed and pesticides; and improved access to agronomic information. MOST is also expanding rural value addition opportunities, by promoting access to threshing, shelling and processing of oilseeds; and developing marketing and distribution systems in farm input and crop output markets. MOST is a market leader in Malawi because programme results do not rely on direct delivery. Instead, MOST uses small risk-sharing investments and technical assistance to encourage market actors to pilot and scale up innovative business practices. This avoids market distortions, and ensures that MOST’s impact is sustainable beyond its lifetime.